Yoast SEO assessment: Flesch Reading Ease
What does the Flesch Reading Ease check do?
The Flesch Reading Ease check assesses if your copy is easy to read or not. It does this by looking at two aspects of a text: how the amount of words relates to the amount of sentences, and how the amount of syllables relates to the amount of words. If you do not use too many difficult words and you keep your sentences rather short, the check will pass. Of course, our understanding of what is difficult and what is easy to read really differs. But it is usually believed that a good web text can be easily understood by a 13-15-year-old.
The Flesch Reading Ease check returns a number on a scale from 0 to 100 — the lower that number, the harder your text is to read. You can find more information on the Flesch readability tests on Wikipedia.
Why is the Flesch Reading Ease score important for readability and SEO?
As you may have guessed, a text that gets a bad Flesch Reading Ease score and is therefore very difficult to read, generally doesn’t do well in terms of readability. The reason for this is simple: Reading from a screen is hard enough already, without having to plough through long words and lengthy sentences. If a text is too hard to read, odds are, your visitors will simply leave your website, potentially leading to a higher bounce rate and lower ranking in the long run. So, from a holistic SEO perspective, it’s important that your texts aren’t too difficult to read for your audience. With Google’s algorithm becoming more human-like, and rise of voice search, reading ease and readability are only going to become more important in terms of ranking.
Do you want to improve your Flesch Reading Ease score?
Before you start editing your text, you have to decide: how easy to read does this text need to be for your audience? If you have a mom blog, or sell clothes, for example, your texts should probably be easier to read than when you’re an academic, blogging about your scientific research. Keep your audience in mind!
Nevertheless, your text will always benefit from clear use of language. If you want to get a higher Flesch Reading Ease score, focus on two things: try shortening your sentences where possible, and check your use of difficult words (with more than four syllables). Use shorter, simpler alternatives, if you can.